CARDIFF are not quite where coach Nathan Harkness wants them just yet but they are heading in the right direction.
The Hawks overcame the loss of Tom Quade (ankle), Cam Jones (shoulder) and Jack Pratt (hamstring) to edge out a determined Killarney Vale 14.7-91 to 12.8-80 at Adelaide Street on Saturday.
The visitors trailed 78-75 at three-quarter time but held the Bombers to three behinds. At the other end, Tom Yensch capitalised on a couple of 50 metre freekicks to get the Hawks home.
“It was a good win and we showed plenty of composure,” Harkness said. “Losing three key players early makes it tough. We were left with one interchange but that is footy. We moved things around a bit and didn’t panic. The game goes for four quarters and we know where the finish line is.
“We have our rotations and the men ready to fight at the end of the game.”
Killarney Vale exploded out of the blocks to lead 45-31 at quarter-time.
“We belted them by near 100 points in the first game but they were a completely different side today,” Harkness said. “They had us in the first quarter because they went hard at it.”
Cardiff kicked five-goals-one in the second term to lead 62-58 at the main break.
“It was a matter of wearing them down,” Harkness said. “Marcus DeLeur in the middle was absolutely super for us. Jack Pratt was really good. Chad Mayo was good at the back… he had a lot of contributors.”
In other games, Courtney Knight and Joseph O’Donoghue kicked four goals as Newcastle City thrashed Nelson Bay 23.18-156 to 5.12-42 at Dick Burwell Oval and leaders Terrigal Avoca were too strong for Warners Bay 11.15-81 to 4.3-27 at Feighan Oval.